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Learning Focus 3

Learning Focus 3: Mary's Expectation

Read the content below and then answer the key questions before completing the task. 

You can discuss the questions with anyone at home. 

 

On March 25th, the Church celebrates the special feast of the Annunciation. It is a time to stop and remember that God became a human being Jesus – the Incarnation – and that Mary was his mother. That event continues to be remembered every day by the prayer called ‘the Angelus’. Angelus is the first word in Latin of this traditional prayer, it means ‘angel’. The prayer begins with recalling the Angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary, telling her she is to be the mother of Jesus.

 

The prayer originally consisted of three Hail Marys prayed three times a day. Gradually a little more was added to the prayer to make explicit what it meant. Traditionally, it is prayed at six in the morning, at noon and at six in the evening. It helps people to remember the presence of God in their lives. In some countries, the Angelus bell rings out from churches at these times to remind people to pray.

 

Traditionally, on Sundays and other special days, the Pope leads the Angelus from his study window for the pilgrims who gather in St Peter’s square.

 

Read the words of the prayer and pray it together.   Reflect upon its meaning.

 

Leader: The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,

Response: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

All: Hail Mary...

Leader: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

Response: Be it done unto me according to your Word.

All: Hail Mary...

Leader: And the Word was made flesh,

Response: And dwelt among us.

All: Hail Mary...

Leader: Let us pray…

 

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts: that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an angel, may, by his Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.

Through the same Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

 

Key Questions:

 

  1. What were the expectations placed upon Mary?
  2. How did Mary respond to these expectations?
  3. Why is the Hail Mary repeated throughout? What is it reminding us of?

 

Task:

Write a diary extract from Mary’s perspective which outlines your expectations of bearing the Messiah and the range of emotions you are feeling on becoming the mother of Christ.  Include how such expectations, emotions and faith help to shape your life.

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